Prospects of brassinosteroids in medicinal applications

  • R. Bhardwaj
  • N. Arora
  • P. Uppal
  • I. Sharma
  • M. K. Kanwar


Steroids are an imperative group of hormones which play a key role in the transmission of signals that mediate growth and physiological responses in most pluricellular organisms. Brassinosteroids (BRs), a class of plant-specific steroid hormones, control many of the developmental and physiological processes like their animal counterparts, including regulation of gene expression, cell division and expansion, differentiation, programmed cell death, and homeostasis. Recent studies have indicated that these hormones have antiviral, antifungal, antiproliferative, antibacterial, neuroprotective and immunomodulatory properties in animal system. BRs analogues have been reported to have antiviral activity against herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1), arenaviruses as well as against replication of vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV) in Vero cells. Also, antiherpetic activities both in a human conjunctive cell line (IOBA-NHC) and murine herpetic stromal keratitis (HSK) experimental models have been reported. In human cells, anticancer structure-activity relationship of natural BRs revealed their high cytotoxic activity. Since, BRs and their analogues are reported to inhibit cell growth in cancer cell lines, they may be considered as promising phytohormones for potential anticancer drugs. The use of pollens in folk medicine also indicates scope of steroids of plant pollens in medicines. An attempt has been made in this paper to document the information available on the prospects of BRs in therapeutics.

Key words

Antiviral anticancer brassinosteroids medicines 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. Bhardwaj
    • 1
  • N. Arora
    • 1
  • P. Uppal
    • 1
  • I. Sharma
    • 1
  • M. K. Kanwar
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Botanical & Environmental SciencesGuru Nanak Dev UniversityAmritsarIndia

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